Lin singlehandedly defeated Kobe and the Lakers Friday night with a 38-point performance, the highest scoring output from any Knicks player this season.
So who is Jeremy Lin, anyway? An L.A. kid who was offered no scholarships after graduating high school and went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft after receiving further education at Harvard, Lin appeared to be good but not quite good enough. Cases like his are fairly common in the competitive market that is professional sports, but the 23-year-old kept his head up even when he was waived by Golden State and sent down to the Knicks’ D-League squad, the Erie BayHawks, after his debut with the big club against his former team. Three days after he was sent down, on January 20th, Lin registered a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a 122-113 victory over the Maine Red Claws. Three really proved to be a fortunate number, as it promoted the point guard back up to the big leagues. Lin rewarded the Knicks for their faith, setting a career mark for points scored in a player’s first three stars since the ABA-NBA merger by pouring in 89. Then, in a tight contest yesterday with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he hit what proved to be the game-winning free throw with just 4.9 seconds left to play in a 20-point, eight-assist, and six-rebound performance.
I must admit, this guy has definitely impressed me from the highlights I’ve seen of him. Unlike Tim Tebow, who was spotlighted for his late game-winning drives against opponents while his defense kept the score tight, Lin hasn’t just been the benefit of his teammates’ talent: this guy simply has true talent. You can see the determination in his eyes when he plays, the undying desire to win and the skills to be able to assist that drive. Tebow is a winner, too, but let’s be honest with ourselves, sports fans: he’s not that talented of a football player. Sure, he has some nifty moves scrambling outside the pocket, but without a true understanding of a quarterback’s mechanics it will take him a couple seasons before he can compete with above-average opponents skill-wise.
Lin, in comparison, seems to have a very solid understanding of basketball mechanics, knowledge that helps him bring a versatile playing style onto the floor. I mean, the guy outdueled Kobe Bryant in a 92-85 victory at Madison Square Garden, setting a career-high and season-high for the team by scoring 38 points while also notching seven assists. He’s for real, no question about it, and for all you non-believers, read this statement closely: Lin is going to be something special. Jeremy is a raw, fresh talent, yet he plays like a seasoned veteran with both poise and focus. He’s one of those players that gets you excited as soon as he touches the ball; you just know he’s going to make something happen. It’s the way basketball fans used to feel about Lebron when he got the ball; even I rooted for “King” James when he first entered the league. I am cheering for Lin in this regard as well, but I don’t think that I’ll find the need to stop anytime soon. Unlike the self-centered James, not only is Lin a team-oriented guy, he is also one of the few players nowadays that still play for “the love of the game.” Keep the Linsanity going, Jeremy!
Check out this video of some ‘Linsane’ highlights, sports fans!